The monetary economics of gold
Deflation and real economic activity under the gold standard
Crisis Chronicles – The California Gold Rush and the Gold Standard
On the crisp morning of January 24, 1848, James Marshall, a carpenter in the employ of John Sutter, traveled up the American River to inspect a lumber mill that Sutter had ordered constructed close to timber sources. Marshall arrived to find that overnight rains had washed away some of the tailrace the crew had been digging. But as Marshall examined the channel, something shiny caught his eye, and as he bent over to retrieve the object, his heart began to pound. Gold! Marshall and Sutter tried to contain the secret, but rumors soon spread to Monterey, San Francisco, and beyond--and the rush ...
Great expectations and the end of the depression
This paper argues that the U.S. economy's recovery from the Great Depression was driven by a shift in expectations brought about by the policy actions of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. On the monetary policy side, Roosevelt abolished the gold standard and-even more important-announced the policy objective of inflating the price level to pre-depression levels. On the fiscal policy side, Roosevelt expanded real and deficit spending. Together, these actions made his policy objective credible; they violated prevailing policy dogmas and introduced a policy regime change such as that ...
Real exchange rates under the gold standard
Purchasing power parity is one of the most important equilibrium conditions in international macroeconomics. Empirically, it is also one of the most hotly contested. Numerous recent studies, for example, have sought to determine the validity of purchasing power parity using data from the post-Bretton-Woods float and have reached different conclusions. We assert that most such studies are flawed for two reasons. First, the post-1973 data contain, by definition, only a very limited amount of the low-frequency information relevant for examination of long-run parity. Second, the dynamic ...
Gold, fiat money and price stability
The classical gold standard has long been associated with long-run price stability. But short-run price variability led critics of the gold standard to propose reforms that look much like modern versions of price-path targeting. This paper uses a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to examine price dynamics under alternative policy regimes. In the model, an inflation target provides more short-run price stability than does the gold standard and, although it introduces a unit root into the price level, it leads to as much long-term price stability as does the gold standard for ...
Did adhering to the gold standard reduce the cost of capital?
A commonly cited benefit of the pre-World War One gold standard is that it reduced the cost of international borrowing by signaling a country?s commitment to financial probity. Using a newly constructed data set that consists of more than 55,000 monthly sovereign bond returns, we test if gold-standard adherence was negatively correlated with the cost of capital. Conditional on UK risk factors, we find no evidence that the bonds issued by countries off gold earned systematically higher excess returns than the bonds issued by countries on gold. Our results are robust to allowing betas to differ ...
Central banking under the gold standard
This paper is intended as a positive analysis of temporary government policy actions under a gold standard. To understand a gold standard is to understand the private valuation of money and gold as assets, and how their asset values can be influenced by government money and gold policy actions under a fixed money price of gold. An intertemporal, rational expectations, asset-pricing model is employed to address these issues.
The changing role of gold in the International Monetary System
Special issue on gold
Gold policy: the thirties and the seventies
Special issue on gold